J. C. Wilson
29 July 2010
Silko assumes that Indian tribal solutions are relevant to Tayo and other veterans. She links myth to present-day events, and wanted the ending of CEREMONY to reinforce the notion that the book itself is a healing ceremony. Using the book as your guide, articulate the ceremony from beginning to end, putting it into your own words and explaining how we, as readers might be healed by reading this book. Ceremony Final Essay
Having finished reading the book, I feel that Leslie Marmon Silko's novel, Ceremony, emphasizes the important role that storytelling plays in Indian tribal culture. The book summarizes the repeated attempts of white groups to decimate the Pueblo culture by destroying its ceremonies. For a long time, the basic elements of Pueblo myth and rituals has been a way of survival. As Silko mentions in Ceremony, however, after World War II, new threats were presented to the Pueblos which caused Pueblo culture to evolve into a more dangerous one. Peace and rituals were no longer a means of survival; now, they had to fight to stay alive.
Pueblo Indians is a collective term referring to the many native people of the Pueblo in the Southwestern United States. This area stretches from Taos in north central New Mexico westward to the Hopi mesas of northeastern Arizona The Laguna Reservation, which is the setting for Silko's novel, is located approximately thirty-five miles from Albuquerque, and about seventy miles from Los Alamos, where the first atomic bomb was developed (Austgen).
The relationships between the Pueblo people and their deities are reciprocal: if the ceremonial offerings are performed properly, then the Pueblos' needs are met. If the rituals are not properly carried out, then the people are not fully cared for, as the myth about neglecting the corn alter suggests. The principle of reciprocity can also be seen in the relationship between the Pueblos and the spirits of the animals they...